Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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gus schickedanz.kronprinz.brendan matthiasGus hunting Kronprinz, a Trakehner /  Brendan Matthias photo

Gustav Schickedanz, ex-MFH, Eglinton and Caledon Hunt (ON), 2009 inductee into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, emigré from war-ravaged Europe, died peacefully at his Schönberg Farm in Ontario on Monday, June 17, 2019. A horseman from his earliest days, Gus was a loveable, courtly, and fascinating man who had personally witnessed the best and the worst of life’s offerings during his ninety years on this planet.

Gus’s life trajectory included the pleasures of a childhood with horses on the three hundred acre family farm in East Prussia, the terror of his family’s flight from the Russians across Germany in World War II, the struggles of gaining entrance to Canada and a new life, achieving wealth through building a successful construction and development company from scratch, the breeding of stakes winners, and the satisfactions derived from devotion to family, horses, and foxhunting.

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wilkes.chad.karenmChad Wilkes moves from Camden to Blue Ridge / Karen Myers photo

By common agreement among hunts and professional hunt staff, April 30/May 1 is the long-accepted transition date for hunt staff changes. In a round robin of moves, the Blue Ridge Hunt (VA), Camden Hunt (SC), and Old Dominion Hounds (VA) all connected and cooperated in making changes for the upcoming season effective this date.

After two seasons as second whipper-in at Blue Ridge, Ross Salter was hired by Old Dominion to whip-in to professional huntsman Gerald Keal there.

With that opening and huntsman Dennis Downing having given his notice of resignation to be effective one year from now, April 30, 2012, the Blue Ridge Masters looked to the future and hired Chad Wilkes, Camden huntsman for the past nine seasons, as kennel huntsman. Wilkes will whip-in to Downing during that huntsman’s last season at Blue Ridge.

Downing looks forward to continuing hunting hounds, but has not yet decided where that will be.

To fill the huntsman’s opening at Camden, the Camden Masters brought back former huntsman Kurt Krucke. Krucke hunted the Camden hounds from 1996 to 2004, most recently serving as huntsman for the Tennessee Valley Hunt (last season) and the Flat Branch Foxhounds in Aiken, South Carolina for six seasons.

Posted May 1, 2011

salter.ross.karenmRoss Salter moves from Blue Ridge to Old Dominion / Karen Myers photo

krucke.kurt.gretchen.pelhamKurt Krucke moves from the Tennessee Valley Hunt back to the Camden Hunt / Gretchen Pelham photo